Once in a while you come across an album that just makes you want to sit on the floor in a quiet room put the headphones on and just get lost in the music, What The Desert Taught You is one of those albums.
Born Blonde are at the forefront of a movement that takes influence from a genre that was around in mid 90’s, often referred to as Shoe Gaze, I like to think of it more like a modern take on psychedelia. Opinion is dived on this scene, is it just a nostalgic trip (get it?!?) down memory lane or is it a relevent sound in its own right? In order for something to be relevant it must bring something new and fresh to the mix and that’s what Born Blonde have done here.
Opening track Solar was a track I’d heard earlier in the year and kicks off the album nicely, acoustic guitar and an infectious piano hook that forms the centre of the track with a spaced out, dreamy and at times hypnotic vocal.
I Just Wanna Be is another track that has been around for a while and is probably the most radio friendly, you may have heard it on the Sky Sports trailers recently. It’s got an almost melancholy feel to it, with a lazy drum beat and another hypnotic hook that you can float off and lose yourself to.
Light On ups the tempo with a bluesy guitar rifts and a rhythm section that reminds me of The Stones Roses – Love Spreads, this track is more of a straight up indie track with a raw edge to the vocal in contrast to the dreamy harmonies elsewhere on the album.
Radio Bliss sets us back on the road to psychedelia with the harmonies back to full effect along with a beautiful little chiming guitar solo.
The slide guitar makes an appearance on Signs Of Fear which gives it a country edge, but don’t let that put you off!! The vocal is delivered with a raw edge and the strings give it a soaring quality that whips you up and carries you off. This track was recently released as a single.
Next up is Dreamland which featured on the I Just Wanna Be EP and a track I really connected with straight away, with its simple and haunting piano and hart-felt vocal. You find yourself caught up in the emotion of the track which takes you off somewhere floating nicely away.
Throughout the whole album you get the sense of space and at times introspectiveness, none more so than on These Days I Dream Of Pyramids that takes you on a journey from the city to the desert on a blissed out space rock road.
Well I did it, I manged to get through the whole review without mentioning The Verve (oh dam I did – sorry!) You can’t help but draw comparisons to The Verve, and whilst I’m sure the band don’t want to be tagged as being the new Verve its inevitable given their space rock sound.
It’ll be interesting to see how Born Blonde and this new psychedelic movement go next year, I have a sneaky suspicion we may be hearing a lot more about it!